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Beverly Semmes

Starcraft, 1998, Cibachrome, 51 x 75 in., Edition of 5

Press Release

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SUSAN INGLETT is pleased to present an exhibition of photography from Beverly Semmes 7 January to 13 February 1999.

A reception for the artist will be held the evening of Thursday 7 January from 6 PM to 8 PM. The exhibition will be accompanied by a Super 8 film presentation at GAGA located 137 Rivington Street between Norfolk and Suffolk Thursday to Sunday 11 to 6, phone 212/598-3032.

Frequently seen within a feminist context, Beverly Semmes work is most commonly understood in terms of gender politics and the corporeal. Both intellectually and intuitively we understand the dress sculptures as physical manifestations of the female psyche.

While such a reading would not be incorrect, it would be incomplete. To gain a richer appreciation of the artist’s work, one must consider the photographs and films which predate and parallel the better known fabric work.

In 1988 Semmes began recording on film, moving and still, figures in nature. Unquestionably, this brief description is an oversimplification of a complex body of work. Semmes figures are never exactly human and her nature is never exactly natural. Placed within surreal garden, coastal, and desert settings, her artificial beings move through the landscape no more at home on earth than in their own skins. In the early 1990’s Semmes removed the physical body from her work allowing the costumes to be understood as freestanding sculpture. Movement remained an important element as suggested by scale and materials while space and landscape continued to play a role as evidenced by careful placement within an architectural setting.

Beverly Semmes continues to work in all three mediums - sculpture, photography and film. The artist has exhibited internationally since 1990. Solo exhibitions in the United States include the Wexner Center, Hirshhorn Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Whitney Museum at Philip Morris.

The exhibition at Susan Inglett will be her first solo exhibition of photography. Work will be on view at the gallery located 100 Wooster Street/2 Floor Tuesday to Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM. For more information contact Susan Inglett at 212/343-0573 and fax 212/343-0574.